After repeatedly arguing that gun control policies fueled Adolf Hitler’s rise in Nazi Germany, retired neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson said he did not mean for his comments to “diminish the enormity of the tragedy.”
The Republican presidential candidate has made numerous references to Hitler over the past year, and most recently said that Hitler’s power would have been “greatly diminished if the people had been armed.” He addressed his latest comments in an op-ed published Wednesday on The Jerusalem Post.
“In recent days I suggested that things might have unfolded in a very different manner in Europe had the Jewish people been armed and better able to defend themselves. What would have been the impact on Hitler’s war machine if his victims had had more access to guns? It is something that we will never know for sure,” he wrote.
“What I do know however, beyond any shadow of a doubt, is that I never intended for my words to diminish the enormity of the tragedy or in any way to cause any pain for Holocaust survivors or their families,” he wrote.
In the op-ed, Carson stressed the importance of America’s relationship with Israel.
“Looking to the future, while remaining mindful of the past, I believe that it is in America’s national security interests to deepen our commitment to Israel. If elected president in November 2016, I will explore every opportunity to strengthen ties between our two nations and to ensure that Israel always has the tools it needs to protect herself and our shared interests,” he wrote.